The General Electric Company, Advanced Energy Programs Department, is designing under DOE/NASA sponsorship the MOD-5A wind turbine system which must generate electricity for 3.75 cent/KWH (1980) or less. During the Conceptual Design Phase, completed in March, 1981, the MOD-5A WTG system size and features were established as a result of tradeoff and optimization studies driven by minimizing the system cost of energy (COE). This led to a 400' rotor diameter size. The MOD-5A system which resulted is defined in this paper along with the operational and environmental factors that drive various portions of the design. Development of weight and cost estimating relationships (WCER's) and their use in optimizing the MOD-5A are discussed. The results of major tradeoff studies are also presented. Subsystem COE contributions for the 100th unit are shown along with the method of computation. Detailed descriptions of the major subsystems are given, in order that the results of the various trade and optimization studies can be more readily visualized.